Daily Archives: May 22, 2012

Norway: Captain Praises Ulstein-built ‘Blue Fighter’ Supply Vessel

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In recent years, Inge Gjelsten has been Captain on board several newbuilds: “’Blue Fighter’ is the best of them by far,” he states. He is soon to retire, and concludes: “If I were a newly-educated captain planning for a career on a supply vessel in the North Sea, a vessel of this type would be my preferred choice.”

The medium-sized platform supply vessel ‘Blue Fighter’ of PX121 design from ULSTEIN was ordered based on trends in the North Sea market. After only days of operation in the spot market, ‘Blue Fighter’ entered a one-year contract, with an option for an additional year, with the American oil company Apache for work in the North Sea.

Remøy Shipping has technical and commercial management of the vessel and feedback on her seakeeping abilities is invariably positive.

Captain Gjelsten continues:

“All on board agree that this is a remarkably efficient and comfortable vessel in all weather conditions. Wind and seas have little impact on the vessel’s performance compared to conventional PSV s. We can compare performance directly when steaming on the same tracks to the oil fields: With the same weather conditions and 3-5 metres head sea within 30 degrees of the bow, our ship can easily and comfortably maintain a speed of 12-13 knots, while the other vessels have to reduce their speed to 7-8 knots. The higher speed is a result of the ‘X-BOW® effect’. Also, due to the position of the stabilisation tanks on board, ‘Blue Fighter’ operates extremely well when wind and seas approach from the side.”

Ulstein Verft delivered the vessel to Blue Ship Invest in January this year.

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UK: Cove Encourages Shareholders to Accept Shell’s Takeover Bid

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Cove Energy, a UK oil and gas company with primary assets in East Africa, yesterday urged its shareholders to accept the $1.8 billion takeover bid from Shell before May 23, the first closing date for the offer from Shell.

The board of Cove, having already endorsed the offer, has said it continues to believe that it is in the best interests of Cove shareholders to accept the offer.

Despite also receiving a similar offer from Thailand’s PTTEP, and the rumors that a consortium from India is preparing a $2 billion offer, the board of Cove has said that, to date, Shell Bidco is the only firm bidder and has strongly recommended its shareholders to accept the offer as soon as possible.

To support the recommendation, the board has highlighted the fact that Shell has already secured the consent of the Government of Mozambique to the indirect acquisition of Cove’s interest in Rovuma Offshore Area 1 which would arise on the takeover of the company.

An 8.5% interest in Mozambique Rovuma Offshore Area 1 is Cove Energy’s primary asset. Anadarko, the operator of the area, last week announced it had made another major discovery in the field. The discovery well, named Golfinho, encountered more than 193 net feet (59 net meters) of natural gas pay. The well was drilled using the Belford Dolphin drillship.

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Enhanced recovery through subsea compression at Gullfaks

Statoil and partner Petoro have agreed to apply subsea gas compression on the Gullfaks South field. This technological leap forward represents an important milestone in the efforts to improve recovery from this and other gas fields.

This technology adds 22 million barrels of oil equivalent to the production from the Gullfaks South Brent reservoir. The partners will invest some NOK three billion in the technology project scheduled to be completed in the autumn of 2015.

“Innovation and technology development are essential to improved oil and gas recovery and extended life for the fields on the Norwegian continental shelf. The development of subsea compression and processing is a central part of Statoil’s technology strategy for long-term production growth,” says Statoil’s executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling, Margareth Øvrum.

The Gullfaks project is the second large subsea gas compression project planned by Statoil. In April this year the plan for development and operation for Åsgard subsea compression was approved by the Norwegian Parliament.

Both projects are scheduled to be compled in 2015. Furthermore Statoil is responsible for the technology qualification for Shell for a third not yet decided project, the Ormen Lange pilot. There are good synergies between the different projects.

Subsea gas compression is an important step on the road towards Statoil’s ambition of installing the elements for a ”subsea factory”. Subsea processing is key to getting access to resources in Artic areas and deepwater assets.

Read more:  Enhanced recovery through subsea compression at Gullfaks.

West Callisto Drills for Total Offshore Myanmar

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Total recently started drilling operations offshore Myanmar at the Yadana field, using Seadrill’s jack-up rig, West Callisto.

According to the Seadrill’s Fleet Status Report for May, Total has hired the rig on a three-month contract. The contract, expiring in mid-July, will bring approximately $12 million to Seadrill.

Total operates the Yadana field (31.2%). Located on offshore Blocks M5 and M6, this field produces gas that is delivered mainly to PTT (the Thai state-owned company) to be used in Thai power plants.

The Yadana field also supplies the domestic market via a land pipeline and, since June 2010, via a sub-sea pipeline built and operated by Myanmar’s state-owned company MOGE.

Following the completion of drilling operations in Myanmar, the rig will leave south-east Asia in which it has been operating since 2010. West Callisto will move to Middle East to commence drilling operations offshore Saudi Arabia under a three-year contract with Saudi Aramco. The drilling program is scheduled to start in September 2012

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Bundler of Sunshine

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May 22, 2012 5:00 am
BY: Patrick Howley

Obama bundler’s husband has received more than a billion in DOE solar loans

New disclosures show that one of President Obama’s bundlers is the wife of an executive at an energy company that received a more-than-$1.2 billion Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee for a solar power plant.

Arvia Few is a bundler for the Obama re-election campaign who has promised to raise between $50,000 and $100,000. She began bundling for Obama in the first quarter of 2012. Her husband, Jason Few, is an executive at a company that has benefited handsomely from the Obama administration’s clean energy spending, records show.

The U.S. Department of Energy granted NRG Solar a $1.237-billion loan in September 2011 to help build NRG’s California Valley Solar Ranch, which is described as “a 250 MW alternating current PV solar generating facility” by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Few became senior vice president of Houston-based Reliant Energy in 2008. He was named President of Reliant in May 2009 when NRG Energy acquired Reliant for $287.5 million. He currently serves as executive vice president and chief customer officer of NRG Energy.

“This investment and its outcome represent a pattern in which the Obama Department of Energy took promises of technological development with an undue amount of credence,” says energy expert Kenneth P. Green, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

“On any given day, there are hucksters who say they can power the world. Unfortunately, there was also an administration that wanted to believe their claims,” Green said. “One has to assume that the administration was more likely to believe the people it knew.”

Other financial interests tied to the Obama administration have also invested in NRG Solar.

Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy holds a stake in another NRG project that received a $967 million Department of Energy loan guarantee.

DOE announced a $967 million loan guarantee to NRG in August 2011 for its $1.8 billion Agua Caliente Solar Project. Agua Caliente will be one of the largest photovoltaic plants in the world upon its completion in 2014.

NRG acquired the Agua Caliente Solar Project from First Solar on August 5, 2011, as DOE announced the loan.

Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy bought a 49 percent stake in NRG’s Agua Caliente project in December 2011.

The multiple DOE loans did not stop NRG Energy from reporting a first-quarter 2012 loss of $206 million.

Even so, NRG has recently expanded its operations.

Since acquiring Reliant in May 2009, NRG Energy has also acquired the offshore wind development company Bluewater Wind, thermal energy company Northwind Phoenix, Texas-based South Trent Wind Farm, Green Mountain Energy Company, Texas-based Cottonwood Generating Station, and Energy Plus Holdings.

In November 2011, NRG Solar further expanded by acquiring the San Francisco-based developer Solar Power Partners.

“When you talk to a lot of people on the environmental left, there’s a deep desire to believe that wind and solar power can help us replace fossil fuels,” Green said. “It’s a naiveté that permeated the administration.”

Jason Few was named to TheGrio’s 100 list honoring “history-makers in the making” in February 2011 despite NRG’s multi-million dollar losses. Few was “turning a profit by greening Texas,” theGrio wrote. The article did not mention the Department of Energy loan program and its relationship with NRG Energy.

Jason Few and NRG Energy did not return calls for comment.

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